Critique of Washington Post and Open Secrets Blog

September 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Washington Post is arguably one of the greatest newspapers of all time. It is then no surprise that its website is very usable and helpful to all its readers who are trying to get the best they can out of the news.

One of the first tests of a websites “usability” is its navigation bar. The navigation bar of washingtonpost.com is very usable.


The navigation bar starts with a link for the “News Home” and then proceeds across with the various sections that are located on the site. As a person scrolls over the particular section on the navigation bar sub sections pop down for the user to scrolls over and click on. However the if the user decides not to use the scroll down method, they are able (except in the “Local” section”) to access the various sub sections by clicking on the particular section on the navigation bar. For example in the Politics section.

Under “Post Politics” is located the various sections where any user can click ( White House, Congress, etc). These same sections are located under the Politics section if the user were to roll over it on the home page navigation bar.

The website also has another attribute that makes it accessible. On its homepage there seems to be another sort of navigation bar, one for the top stories of the day.

The website calls these stories the Hot Topics. They include stories such as “O’Donnell cancels TV spots” and “White House rips Forbes”. In addition, the Hot Topics are updated every few minutes.

The Post has many other things that make its usable such as a search bar, the ability to become a free member, and access to the print edition on the website. The Washington Post makes sure its users aren’t pulling their hair out when they are searching for their news and whatever else the Post has to offer.

OpenSecrets.org, a political website that has the subtitle “Center for Responsive Politics”, has a blog that is simply called the Open Secrets Blog. Again the word usability is the key to any websites success. Any user must feel invited and at home while on the website. This means that the website must be easy to use for the purposes that it is intended. The Open Secrets Blog seems to be pretty interactive for the user. First, the ability to comment on any particular blog post is always key.

Blogging is about posting your own ideas so it is only natural that you should allow your readers to post their ideas about your idea.

This particular page also incorporates the use of modern social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users have the ability to “like” ab blog as they would a status or picture on Facebook.

Being in tune with these website shows that the blog post is up-to-date and in tune with what many of its readers are into.

The blog also has a search bar, the ability to buy custom information that Open Secrets has compiled and the blogs categorized. Both the Washington Post and Open Secrets websites have different things that make their websites usable.  The Post has its navigation bars and Open Secrets has its ability to interact. Usability is the most important thing any website can have.

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